Dell is on a precipice staring into oblivion right now. The company’s founder Michael Dell wants to take the company private, but that deal has been stymied by veteran investor Carl Icahn who wants more money for his share of the company. On today’s market, shares in the PC maker were trading at just over $13, down more than 2 percent in the last five days trading.
According to a new report from Deutsche Bank Research, Dell shares are likely to fall to around $9 if the privatization bid falls through. The news may provide a compelling impetus for shareholders currently mulling over their vote on Michael Dell’s offer. There are many reasons Dell shares would be expected to collapse if the vote fails to pass.
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PC market collapse
Despite the protests of Carl Icahn, the PC market is in a rapid decline. Icahn may believe that Dell is worth more than $15 per share, but the company’s outlook isn’t that good, and the firm has been under-performing for years. The problems are not at Dell; they pervade the entire PC market.
Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) will become the center of a proxy battle if the vote fails on Wednesday according to the Deutsche Bank analysts. Proxy battles are not necessarily bad for companies, and they can often drive up share prices, but Dell, which needs to jump to a new market in order to survive, is unlikely to benefit from such a battle.
The analysts are skeptical of Carl Icahn’s contribution on Dell. There is little detail about the investor’s plan for the company should he attempt to take control with his partners. If a proxy battle ensues, Dell will not have the ability to change its business focus.
A proxy battle, combined with a quickly changing PC market, might be enough to kill Dell, and it will certainly be enough to hurt the company’s chances going forward.
Precedent for Dell
Before the rumors about the Dell buyout began circulating in December of 2012, the company’s shares were trading between lows of below $9 at the end of November and just below $10 in the early days of December. Dell was at $9 before this battle began, and without the inflated price of a buyout offer, the company is likely to fall to similar levels when the publicity shifts.